Jarvis, a professor at the City University of New York, argues for disrupting the university, taking advantage of new ways to teach more skills; finding new efficiencies and economies of scale so we do not continue to bankrupt our children’s future; and rethinking the value of the lecture, the campus, and the diploma.
The disruption that has overtaken media thanks to the internet will come to most industries and institutions. There are lessons to be learned in what media have done wrong. But more important, there are also lessons to be had in exploring the opportunities media face to reinvent themselves as services and relationship businesses rather than just content factories. At the Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism he directs, Jarvis researches and advises companies on implementing new business models for news.
Technology has taught us a new way to develop products: in public. When Google releases a beta, it is a statement of humility that says, “This thing isn’t finished, it isn’t perfect, in fact, we’re not sure what it is yet, so help us make it better.” The beta is an invitation to collaborate with customers. That’s a wise model for more enterprises and activities as Jarvis and his audiences explore the beta company, beta government, beta marriage, and beta life.
Today, technology leads to efficiency over growth. The result: countless jobs lost in recent years will not return. That’s a harsh reality that policymakers and pundits refuse to face. In a discussion with his audiences, Jarvis looks at industry after industry, from media to retail to manufacturing to education, in which productivity and profitability may soar but so will disruption, destruction, and unemployment. What results is a conversation about strategies and opportunities in the face of this disruption.
The internet is in danger. Not just tyrants but also well-meaning governments and clumsy companies threaten to limit the freedom and power that the net is bringing to anyone, to publish to the world and even to organize revolutions and new nations. Jarvis has urged CEOs and heads of state to take a Hippocratic oath for the net: First do no harm. He proposes principles of an open internet and open society and urges his audiences to protect them both.